Wild Mobile; Video’s Weak Spot

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Mobile Dimes

In a recent interview with Bloomberg News, Vice CEO Shane Smith called mobile “the holy grail” for media companies. “Mobile is the Wild West,” Smith said. “It’s where everyone’s scale is coming from, but it’s very difficult to monetize right now.” New York Business Journal reports that mobile ad spend will jump 83% to hit $18 billion this year, but will only account for about 10% of marketers’ overall budgets. With more time spent on mobile, Biz Journal reporter Ben Fischer writes, “Closing that gap is a crucial goal for any media company, in particular one targeting a young, international audience like Vice.”

Video In Hand

Video sellers struggle to squeeze revenue from mobile as much as display sellers do. BrightRoll COO Bruce Falck told Beet.TV, “Measurement hasn’t quite caught up. In other words, there’s a lot more supply in the mobile space than is currently being transacted. That gets fixed in 2015. We’re going to see a big uptick in mobile video spend driven by improvements in measurements.” More. That is, if Atlas, Google and other deterministic ID solutions live up to their promise.

Voter Audience

Targeted video ads are hot stuff for political operatives, but guaranteed ad space in swing states is hard to come by. The New York Times reports, “Already, there is almost no remaining YouTube inventory for reserve buys — the ads that cannot be skipped — in Alaska, Maine, Montana and New Hampshire, and inventory is increasingly tight in nearly a dozen other competitive states.” RTB is a scatter market of sorts. More.

Sizing Sizmek

In a preliminary Q3 outlook, Sizmek warned of lower revenue on reduced demand for its rich media product. The downbeat result follows a disappointing Q2 with “lower-than-expected” growth in North America and Asia. It’s interesting to note the parallel with Conversant. Both companies built their ad tech stacks, stabilized in early 2014, and then failed to accelerate sufficiently in subsequent quarters. Conversant found its sugar daddy with Alliance Data Systems, but Sizmek looks to still be struggling. Andy Ellenthal, EVP global sales, is leaving the company. Press release.

Wary Of Automation

Execs from Telefonica and Visa Europe voiced lingering concerns about programmatic at the Association of Online Publishers’ conference. “With programmatic the risk is that it goes somewhere we don’t want it to,” said Telefonica’s head of social media, Paul Fabretti, “Content creators get the risk.” Visa Europe senior digital communications exec Andy Donaldson shared similar hesitancies specific to automating within social. “The advent of social has made it more necessary to think on our feet and be more reactive,” Donaldson said. “The idea of automating any of that still rings alarm bells with me. … If you automate something, especially in the social space, you’re in trouble because if people spot automation it falls flat on its face.” More via The Drum.

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